Molasses and tahini create a simple, classic Turkish treat known as Tahin Pekmez. It can be eaten by the spoonful–like a dessert soup, if you will–or used as a dip with breads. The real deal is made using grape molasses, but that’s not particularly something that can be found on a whim in the States, so good ol’ regular molasses will do.
The great part about combining molasses with tahini is that it mellows tahini’s bitterness without completely obliterating it. Molasses has such a strong flavor with just a hint of sweetness, which complements tahini beautifully. If you think you don’t like tahini, I think this could potentially change your mind! (But alas, I say that about all my tahini recipes. 😇)
I used banana in this recipe because I freaking love banana, but if you wanted to replicate the traditional Turkish recipe more closely, you could opt for grated zucchini instead, or the semi-neutral sweet potato. Banana and sweet potato will create a creamier and more filling porridge, but zucchini is the only one that will not alter the flavor of the oats and distract from the molasses-tahini creation.
For more information about substituting bananas, see this post!
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What you'll need:
- 3/4 cup milk of choice, or water*
- 1/4 cup quick cook steel cut oats*
- 1 banana, ripe or overripe, OR 1/3 cup mashed sweet potato or grated zucchini
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1/2 tsp mild molasses (or 1/4 tsp blackstrap molasses)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- handful of raisins (optional)
- sesame seeds, for topping (optional)
How to make it:
- Bring milk (I used 1/2 c cashew milk and 1/4 c water) to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium. (If you'd like to add flax or chia seeds, do so now.)
- Mash banana and add to the oatmeal (or, alternatively, add sweet potato or zucchini. If doing one of these two options, you may want to add additional sweetener). Stir occasionally and cook for about three minutes.
- Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add 1 tbsp of the tahini, molasses, vanilla extract, salt, and raisins. Stir.
- When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to a bowl. Add a splash of your milk of choice, remaining 1 tbsp of tahini, sesame seeds, and any other additional toppings (berries, dried fruit, coconut, jam, nuts, etc.).
Just an FYI:
*You can make this with rolled or quick oats by increasing the liquid to 1 cup and the oats to 1/2 cup.